A federal jury awarded Andrew Barati, a Metro-North Railroad worker who filed a personal injury lawsuit against his employer, about $1 million in punitive damages last month. Barati accused Metro-North of the labor-law violation of wrongful termination, and the jury agreed he had been fired in retaliation for reporting a work-related injury. The decision was based on the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 2008, a law that explicitly prohibits railroad management from disciplining workers for reporting or seeking treatment for an on-the-job personal injury.
Led by former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, 126 former National Football League players filed a mass-tort lawsuit in a U.S. District Court on Friday. The lawsuit alleges that the NFL violated labor laws by deliberately hiding information about the risks of head injuries, thus exposing players to serious personal injuries such as brain damage and neurological disorders. The players believe that, had they known about the risks of repetitive traumatic brain injuries, they would not have chosen to play in the league.
Two contractors were convicted earlier this month for a construction accident in Staten Island 3 years ago in which a foreman was crushed to death by a cinderblock wall. On Feb. 12, 2009, a strong gust of wind toppled a 100-foot-long, 60-foot-tall facade of a commercial office building, crushing Robert McGee, 59, a construction foreman from Bohemia, L.I. At the time, McGee was kneeling on the second-story floor; he was on site to frame the adjoining walls. The convictions over this work-related accident in New York City are expected to aid McGee’s family, which has a wrongful death lawsuit pending in state Supreme Court.
Many states, including New York, require that workers are given meal breaks. Wal-Mart employees in Pennsylvania alleged that they were denied their meal and rest breaks or that they were cut short. They believed this to be a clear labor law violation.